Pedestrian Council of Australia

Safety – Amenity – Access – Health


Media Release

Tuesday 28 June 2005

What a Mess - Costa's Consistent Inconsistencies
"I'm sympathetic to the concerns of bus drivers in the CBD," Mr Costa said.
The Chairman of the PCA, Mr Harold Scruby, said today:  "Please have a read of NSW Roads Minister Michael Costa' s comments as reported in yesterday's Daily Telegraph (below) and then have a look at just some of the new Penalties and Demerit Point Scheme Mr Costa is introducing on 1 July 2005.
"This is the Minister who calls Instant Summits, invites the people he knows will agree with him or are too scared to speak out,
then forces his uninformed views on them and changes everything without any due process, transparency or consultation.
"This is the Minister who believes Sydney's buses will run efficiently with his new regime of Penalties and Demerit Points.  A scheme which was supposed to be focussed on safety, fairness and consistency.  If he is so sympathetic to the concerns of bus drivers in the CBD, then why has totally ignored the State Transit's formal submission to the Demerit Points and Penalties Review (see copy below).  His backdoor meddling will now cause such confusion and invite such illegal behaviour around Bus Stops, it will be only good luck if any buses run on time in the CBD.  And passenger safety will also be put at great risk because bus drivers will be forced to double-park in order to set down and pick up their passengers on the road.
Mr Scruby added: "The NRMA's policy, released March 2003 (which followed their major review of fines and DPs) was and is that: 

"The Demerit Points (DP) Scheme needs to be reviewed to ensure it is fair, consistent and focused on safety. All safety-related offences should incur demerit points.  Penalties should be reviewed to ensure that offences that are most likely to endanger the community carry higher penalties …"  .
"Mr Costa has completely ignored this policy and has created his own scheme which will invite, encourage and increase illegal and dangerous behaviour at the expense of the public transport system and the lives and limbs of the travelling public." Mr Scruby said.

-----Original Message-----


From: []

Sent: Wednesday, 7 July 2004 11:01 AM


Subject: Adhsell and Illegal Parking in bus zones



Mr Scruby,


Firstly I apologise for the delay in responding.


Parking of vehicles in bus zones and on footways near bus stops is a problem for State Transit. As you correctly pointed out, it impacts on bus operations and creates a safety risk to our passengers who can be forced to board and be set down in the traffic lane.




With regards to State Transit's response to the Demerit Point & Penalties Review, we sought the loss of demerit points in addition to the fine.


Extract from our letter below:


State  Transit  requests that  the penalties  for these offences be equivalent to the  proposed  penalties  for  stopping on/near a pedestrian crossing.  If a vehicle is illegally parked at a bus stop, the bus then has to stop and set passengers down in the through traffic lane.   This  raises  similar safety issues as the safety concerns over stopping  near  a  pedestrian crossing, children’s crossing, or marked foot crossing especially if the bus is conveying school  students.  It is requested that the penalties for Stop in bus zone and Stop in/on bus/transit/truck lane be set at an equivalent rating of $225/3 points.


Due to the concerns we have regarding vehicles illegally parking in bus zones, State Transit also requests that illegally parked vehicles be able to be towed from bus zones.


Thank you for the continued assistance of the Pedestrian Council in creating a better environment for pedestrians of which many are our passengers. I will confirm with you the RTA's clarification on the Australian Road Rules exemption as soon as we have a response.




Lyall Kennedy

GM Service Development




Daily Telegraph - Monday 27 June 2005

Bus-lane ban looms for bikes  

by Bruce McDougall

Road chiefs will consider a proposal to ban cyclists and taxis from bus lanes. 

Roads Minister Michael Costa has asked the Roads and Traffic Authority to investigate if a ban would improve safety and traffic flows in the city. 

His move follows a request from the bus union to change the law that allows cyclists and taxis to share bus lanes.

Bus drivers have complained cyclists riding in bus lanes have become a hazard in the city.  They say bikes obstruct buses causing delays to services affecting thousands of passengers.

"I'm sympathetic to the concerns of bus drivers in the CBD," Mr Costa said.

"The NSW Government's plans to unclog the CBD will see more bus priority measures to cut travel times.

"That includes new bus lanes and extending the operating hours of existing lanes.  That's why I've asked the RTA to look at this issue in more detail."

The bus division of the Rail, Tram and Bus Union called for the taxi and cyclists ban during a meeting with seior Transport Ministry officials.

Cyclists and taxis are legally allowed to travel in bus lanes but not in bus-only lanes as on the Harbour Bridge.